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Siegal Lifelong Learning

History + Culture

History + Culture

Tuesdays, July 18 - August 22 | 1–3 p.m.

Donna Rumenik, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


"Never again" unfortunately has turned into "again and again." Human cruelty, ethnopolitical conflict, war, terrorism, and genocide continues presently to create destruction and suffering throughout the world. Psychology has an important role in contributing to an understanding of what leads individuals or groups to commit either acts of destruction or acts of goodness. We will examine and discuss past genocides as well as present genocides and mass violence through the lens of a perpetrator, bystander, rescuer, and survivor. In addition, we will focus on how an identity can be formed when one is a descendant of a genocide perpetrator or survivor. How the past is remembered or forgotten is also addressed.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, September 5-26 | 10 a.m.-noon


Mike Olszewski, Cleveland radio and television personality, Curator and Archivist for the Ohio Broadcast Archive and Museum

No one is exactly sure when the "era of the Sixties" began. The Cold War? The Space Race? The Civil Rights? This course looks at how all of these events played a role in shaping America and the world during the most pivotal decade in recent history.

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $60; Nonmembers: $75 | REGISTER >


Tuesdays, September 5-October 10 | 1–3 p.m.


Leatrice Rabinsky, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


Testaments, burdens and gifts of memory of the Holocaust bring pain and solace to those who have survived the traumatic years. Learn why Dasha Rittenberg explains, "I would rather have the pain of memory than to forget." Study the Anguish and comforts told by many aging survivors.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, September 7-November 16 | 1:30–3:30 p.m.


U.S. and Latin Relations: From The Cold War to the Trump Administration
This course will examine the major events and policies that shaped the relationships between the United States and the Latin American nations. In the process we will examine how the Cold War shaped U.S. views towards the region, how economic policies and political conflicts impacted migration and immigration patterns, and how U.S. history tends to ignore Latin American perspectives towards the US. 

Lecturer: Jose Sola, Associate Professor of History, Cleveland State University
Thursdays, September 7-October 12 

Turkey: Understanding the Present by Seeing the Past
For many years news about Turkey was rarely found on the front pages of the daily news—whether in hard copy or on the web. For the past several years, and particularly, after the failed coup of July 15, 2016, events in Turkey have achieved a new prominence. Yet, for many Turkey remains a mystery. This course will look at the history of Turkey, beginning with prehistoric settlement and moving on to the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire. It will conclude with a close look at the history of the current Turkish Republic, created in 1923, with a special focus on economics, education, and religion and a detailed examination of the events which brought that nation back to the front page. 

Lecturer: John Grabowski, Associate Professor of Applied History, Case Western Reserve University
Thursdays, October 19-November 16

Read about John Grabowski in this Think article at 


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $115; Nonmembers: $135 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, September 12-October 3 | 6:30-8 p.m.


Dennis Hirsh, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


Jewish athletes and sports fans in the United States have long faced the question of where and how these aspects of their identity can meet (and where they might need to diverge). This course begins with a discussion about efforts of Jewish American organizations to boycott the Nazi Olympics in 1936. Then we move into the stories of famous Jewish athletes, sportscasters and sports owners - and the impact they have had on American popular culture and Jewish pride.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $60; Nonmembers: $75 | REGISTER >

Saturdays, September 16-October 21 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

No class: September 30

David Huston, History Teacher

America has been called “the first new nation.” It did not grow organically from time immemorial; it was deliberately created by groups of people who harbored deep and often conflicting ideas about what sort of nation they were actually founding. “American Creeds” will be a start toward examining some of the central foundational statements of value and aspiration that have helped shape this remarkable country. 

Starting with Puritan John Winthrop’s “Model of Christian Charity” (The “City on a Hill” speech) and traversing the ideas of Roger Williams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, J.Q. Adams. Alexis de Tocqueville, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Abraham Lincoln, we will search out the sometimes explicit and sometimes hidden agendas of these pivotal figures and the impact they have had on American life. There will be a sequel course later in the year that will examine the Credos of 20th and 21st century America.

Laurel School-Lyman Campus | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER >


Sundays, September 17–November 12 | 5–6:30 p.m.

No Class: September 24


Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Put on your bell-bottoms and grab your granny glasses, tie-dyes and beads! Let’s do a little back-to-the-future time travel to the seminal decade of the 1960s. Utilizing a compilation of articles originally published in the New Yorker, we will re-examine the confrontations over civil rights, economics, Vietnam, and lifestyles. We will review the tragedies of the all too common assassinations and the problems and promises of psychedelics and protests. We will re-experience the highs of Telstar and Apollo 11 and the lows of poverty in The Other America and of the damage echoed in The Silent Spring. And we will review our fascination with the entertainment and cultural icons of the era.  Book: The 60s: The Story Of A Decade, The New Yorker (Henry Finder, editor)


Private Residence: 13803 Cormere Ave., Cleveland 44120 | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Mondays, September 18–November 6 | 10–11:30 a.m.

Betty Zak, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies

The Vatican and others called her a Pirate Queen and a master of the spies as she transformed England into an imposing empire. Discover her power and intrigue, her swashbuckling mariners who terrorized the seas and the brilliance of a spymaster who exploited double agents, deciphered codes, and laid a foundation for international espionage. Books: Susan Ronald, The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventures, and the Dawn of an EmpireStephen Budiansky, Her Majesty's Spymaster.


Bay United Methodist Church | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Tuesdays, September 19-November 7 | 1-2:30 p.m.


Jim Van Horn, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


“Illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, aide-de-camp to Washington, battlefield hero, member of the Constitutional Convention, leading author of The Federalist Papers, head of the Federalist Party, first treasury secretary who created our tax and budget systems, Customs Service, Coast Guard, and central bank “….(he) figures prominently in almost every major political episode of late eighteenth century America.” Author Ron Chernow offers us the opportunity to explore and discuss the impact of this amazing individual on his times and the formation of this new nation.  Book: R. Chernow, Alexander Hamilton


Starr House | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, September 22-November 10 | 10–11:30 a.m.


Stanford Sarlson, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


The building of the Panama Canal was one of the twentieth century’s biggest engineering projects and great triumphs. A dream of centuries, the failed attempt rocked France to its very foundations, created a new country, The Republic of Panama, and put the United States on a role of global involvement. The story of its building is more dramatic and far-reaching than most people can imagine. David McCullough's book is more absorbing than a novel and tells the whole story brilliantly.   Book: D. McCullough, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914


Judson Park | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Thursdays, September 28-November 16 | 10–11:30 a.m.

Pamela Belknap, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Two new biographies present fresh, contemporary perspectives on hero Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, who was indispensable to his life and important to Great Britain. Discuss their unique personalities, fascinating marriage, and critical contributions to their nation. Compare and contrast with the lives of the Roosevelts.   Books: Boris Johnson, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History and Sonia Purnell, Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Thursdays, September 28-November 16 | 10-11:30 a.m.


Stanford Sarlson, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


The First World War was the forerunner of all modern wars. Many inventions saw their first use in this war and, all but poison gas, became common usage forever more in all future wars. They all have interesting stories, which this course will explore. Additionally, the failed Gallipoli campaign, the forerunner of grand global strategies, will also be discussed. This war, arguably never ended, but just slumbered, only to start up again in 1939.    Books: Erik Larson, Dead Wake, Diana Preston, A Higher Form of Killing, and excerpts from David Butler’s Lusitania and Barbara Tuchman’s The Zimmerman Telegram


Cleveland Skating Club | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, September 29-November 17 | 10:30 a.m-noon

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


What can we learn from the lives of former chief executives? What challenges did they face? How did they react to those challenges? What goals and programs did they attempt to establish? How did they succeed or fail? What were their personalities like and what shortcomings plagued them? What qualities of leadership did they possess or lack? Two authors explore how several former Chief Executives faced the tensions of a new Cold War world, numerous assassinations, Civil Rights strife and success, a new war in Asia, dissent at home, and the meltdown of their hopes and dreams.  Books: Clint Hill, Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford and Chris Whipple, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs f Staff Define Every Presidency

St. Paul's Episcopal Church | Lifelong Learning Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >



Tuesdays, October 17-November 21 | 1–3 p.m.

Leatrice Rabinsky, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


Noteworthy are nations, communities and personalities of non-Jews whose courage helped Jewish victims in their struggle for survival. Denmark's citizens refused to behave as innocent bystanders. Chambon-sur-Lignon in France, under Pastor Trome's family, hid hundreds of Jews in the face of deportation. Sweden's Raoul Wallenberg, Japan's Chiune Sugihara, Poland's Jan Karski, America's Varian Fry and Portugal's Aristides de Sousa Mendes are among those honored as the Righteous Among the Nations.


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $90; Nonmembers: $110 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, October 24-November 14 | 7–9 p.m.


Brian Amkraut, Executive Director, Siegal Lifelong Learning, CWRU

This course examines four revolutions with a focus on the roles played by Jews both individually and collectively in these historical episodes and the impact of these events on Jewish life. In addition to the better known American, French, and Russian Revolutions, we will also spend a session examining the various less successful European revolutions of 1848.

Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $60; Nonmembers: $75 | REGISTER >


Tuesdays, October 31-November 21 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Ezra Blaustein, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


To this day, the series of military expeditions begun in the late 11th century, known as the Crusades, are often celebrated in the Christian West and bitterly spoken of in Islamic culture. The Crusades represent a critical juncture in Jewish history as well. This course offers a Jewish perspective on this history, and its effects, focusing on the Crusades' impact on Jewish life in Christian Europe and in the Islamic Middle East


Landmark Centre | Lifelong Learning Members: $60; Nonmembers: $75 | REGISTER >